Friday, 11 September 2009

Greenpeace Expect Indonesia’s Future Cabinet be Filled with Leaders with Strong Commitment to Forest Conservation

Indonesia’s president Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono would hopefully appoint ministers who were concerned about forest endurance and were strongly committed to forest conservation endeavors in Indonesia.

The level of forest destruction in Indonesia were considerably high, which would have its negative impact on the nation’s economy.

“President Soesilo would hopefully appoint candidate ministers who had strong commitment to preserve environments in Indonesia” Greenpeace stated this to Business News by telephone on Wednesday [12/8].

“President Soesilo had a historical momentum to lead global endeavors to prevent the worse impact of climate change, which would be discussed at the UN Negotiation on Climate Change in Kopenhagen next December”.

To meet the criteria of a candidate minister, it would be necessary to look at the candidate’s track record; this was the task of President Soesilo who would be sworn as president on next October 2009 for the second term of presidency.

With a strong support from parliament, and victorious background in the presidential election on July 8, 2009 in which he scored around 60% vote, President Soesilo would be in a strong position and be at liberty to choose his cabinet ministers.

Forest destruction had been of great disadvantage to Indonesia’s economy.

With deforestation going on at high speed, causing flood in every rainy season and forest fire during the dry season such as in Riau, Palembang, Pontianak, Samarinda, Jambi, smoke and haze pollution were at large causing serious disturbances to the economy through flight cancellations etc which disabled people from doing their activities while our forests vanished just like that.

An example of severe forest fire in Indonesia was the one occurring in 1997/1998 where smoke fumigated neighboring countries, inflicting million dollar losses. The case led a number of ASEAN countries to agree upon the ASEAN Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution in June 2002 which was effective in 2003, although Indonesia had not ratified the agreement.

Masneliati Hilman : Preventive Measures Needed to Minimize Forest Destruction
It became imperative to take preventive measures to minimize forest destruction in Indonesia.

One of the considerable steps was to turn dried-up and decayed tree branches into compost instead of burning them, such as being done by the Ministry of Environment.

“We are taking preventive measures by changing people’s traditional habit of burning of trees that fell during land clearing. The exemplary educational project for the rural communities had succeeded in minimizing forest fires up to 86%” Misneliati Hilman, Deputy Chief of Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation Management of the Ministry of Environmental Affairs disclosed to Business News by telephone on Wednesday [12/8].

According to Hilman, this good habit needed to be enhanced in Indonesia where forest fire often occurred. Today, forest destruction in Indonesia amounted to 1.08 million hectares per year “The negative impact of forest destruction is clearly visible in the form of flood, landslide, and whirlpool wind”. In addition to that, forest destruction increased the glass house effect which triggered global warming.

Forest destruction in Indonesia was caused by illegal logging, forest fires and land possessions. Forest fires occurred in ex-Licensed-Forest-Utilization [HPH] zones where land were burned by the people. This had been going on the past 2 where people came to visit the village chief [Lurah] to obtain permit to process land and they interpreted it as burning the dried grass and foliage. And possessions and occupations also occurred ib ex HPH zones.

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